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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Design Number Four

This is the second design proposed from e-fairy. To learn more about her and her portfolio, please see yesterday's post HERE.

Don't forget to click on the facebook like button below if you think this is the design for LLAOTWM!

Design #4





Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Design Number Three

This designer has send me three different designs so I will be publishing them in the order that she listed them. They came to me from Emilia from e-fairy web designs. I love how Emilia became so passionate about her designs. She is really trying to create an environment that would be both appealing and sensitive, since many of you are living through some dark hours. In my few e-mail exchanges, I can say that she was easy to communicate with and very interested in pleasing you.

The flower in the header is designed to represent me with my two boys and the bump I am trying to grow. This flower will be seen on each of the three designs.

So, here is her first design of three:

Design #3

Don't forget to come back and click the like button below if you think this is the new look of LLAOTWM!




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's Wrong With This Photo?


I don't know how many of you watch The Ellen Degeneres Show, but I love it! One of my favorite segments that they do is called, "What's Wrong With These Photos Photos". I have seen some of the most hysterical things but tonight I think I may have found a submission for the show.

I was sitting in Doug's hospital room and the nurses were busy doing their thing to get him checked in. Then, they write their names on a whiteboard and left Doug to rest and me to quietly survey the area. This is what I saw:


Do you need to take a closer look?

If you think that it is slightly insane that I find this hysterical, please refer to the post I wrote entitled Sometime I Have to Laugh!



Design Number Two

Before I show you the goods, I want to give a quick update on Doug for those of you who are following his health situation. He has been admitted to the hospital due to some sort of infection so as I type this I am wearing blue gloves, a face mask, and I am supposed to be wearing a gown but I had to draw the line somewhere. Because, really, if he has something contagious I have been sleeping in the same bed, kissing him goodnight, and well... I've been exposed to whatever he's got. Right now they are testing for meningitis. We are taking things one step at a time. I am confident that God is watching over us and will help us bring him back to full heath just as soon as possible.

Okay! On to the fun stuff! This second design was made by Jayme @TheTaterTwins. Jayme really deserves all the credit when it comes to me blogging. Until I "met" Jayme and became friends with her (and her uterus) I had never really heard of blogging. I followed Jayme for about a year and would read her posts and slowly grew to learn what blogging was all about. Jayme has hand-held me through the blogging world and has been supportive, and informative when I was asking 101 questions about blogging. Be sure to follow her blog and read about her long and courageous journey with motherhood. Alright. Alright. Enough about Jayme! Let's see what she has when it comes to blog design!

Design #2
Don't forget to come back here and like this post if you think this is a good look for LLAOTWM!







Monday, June 27, 2011

Design Number One


The moment we have all been waiting for...

I will be presenting you with the designs submitted to me in the order they were received. All designs submitted will be posted. Please remember to come back and click the facebook like button if you think this design is appealing to you and a good fit for my blog. For more information regarding sumbitting designs and what you will get please read this post.

Design #1 was designed by Michael Staake. His design was made for Wordpress and while I explained that I am on Blogger and wasn't prepared to be making any significant moves at this point, he offered to move my whole blog to Wordpress for me if this was the winning design. In addition he also has web hosting so if any of you are considering this, his costs are reasonable. I will add a link once I receive it from him.

Well here you go! Be sure to tell me what you think in the comments section! And don't forget to "like" it on Facebook if you think it is the one for LLAOTWM. And without further ado...

Design #1





Sunday, June 26, 2011

Watch Out! Fun Week Ahead!

I am so happy to report that I have had 4 different people volunteer to design a page. It isn't too late if any of you still want to throw your hat into the ring! Please see my original post for the details! Also note that you are welcome to submit up to 3 different page designs for voting.

If you have a design, don't forget to send me a link at your earliest convenience (but no later than the end of the week)!


And just because I can't bring myself to post this with no pictures, here is Gavin "mowing" in the dirt. Let me also explain the hat... For Halloween he was a farmer and Joey dressed as a cow. The only farmer hat that we could find (for a kid) that we could find was at an Amish hardware store. He wants to wear it every time he is outside doing "farm work".
Looking forward to next week!

Oh... and for those following my TTC journey I will be 9DPO tomorrow. Trying to resist the urge to pee on things. I knew my chances are slim to none. At least that is what I thought until a sweet friend mentioned that Prednisone *might* actually help conception and that it is long term Prednisone use that causes so many issues with the swimmers. With hope and faith in my heart, I know I will be pregnant if it is in God's will.





Saturday, June 25, 2011

Featured Blogs-Week Nine

Each weekend I am picking 3 blogs to feature on my homepage for the week. Should they feel called to do so, they may put my button on their homepage for the week as well. This is certainly not a requirement-just a great way to network. Be sure to check them out!


mybabystill






Blossom at Home Homeschool


Just a reminder to all of my blogging friends... If you haven't been featured yet be sure to send me an e-mail with code for a button! I would love to feature you in the coming weeks!






Friday, June 24, 2011

Memorial Ideas for Your Angels

Most women who go through a miscarriage are confronted with the feeling of needing to somehow memorialize their loss. I always wanted to have something to represent my babies but I didn't know where to start. I was afraid that if I planted something that it wouldn't grow, or worse, it would die. I looked for jewelry but couldn't find something that wasn't crazy expensive. appropriate for everyday wear, that was attractive enough to represent my beautiful babies in heaven. I looked around a little but then gave up. For me, my memories in my head were enough. For those of you who want something more tangible, here are some wonderful ways to cherish your very real and very missed angels.

First, if you are looking for hardy plants that are known to stay beautiful and alive (even if your thumb is a very pale shade of chartreuse) try one of these!







The first is an African Violet. They come in a variety of shades of purple and are extremely hardy. In fact, they only need watered once a week and don't even need direct sunlight! Plus, they are beautiful!









This Jade plant is not only attractive but is a tough plant that, even if neglected, won't die. It needs a little sunlight and will bloom with pink flowers in the winter months. Who couldn't use a little pink in the winter?
















This is called a Peace Lily. This is a great plant because it will almost tell you when it needs water. When it's leaves start to look a little wilted, it is time for a drink. It needs a little sunlight but other than that, what a lovely plant to help you find peace with your loss.












If plant's are quite your thing I have other ideas. I have mentioned this wonderful organization before and am not ashamed to do it again. Maureen and her volunteers make these pillows to help grieving mothers to give mothers something tangible to fill their empty arms. My favorite part is that when the pillow is completed, a prayer is said for the mother that receives it. They are beautiful and you can see the love that is put into each one.






Maybe you have a picture of your postive pregnancy test, a photo or video of you sharing the news with your husband, or other very treasured memorabilia that you want to keep somewhere safe. Your pregnancy and your baby was real and sometimes we need something real to help us from those, "Maybe I just imagined it" moments. This box and many others would be a great place to put those special things. Also, if you choose to do a burial and want a beautiful place for your baby to rest, there are gorgeous boxes of varying sizes.

If jewelry is what you are looking for, please visit Little Angel on Etsy. She has a number of very touching necklaces that are perfect for wearing every day. I love that they are understated so that you can feel like it is your little special something that isn't grabbing the attention of every nosy cashier at the grocery store. These are just a few of my favorites:


Another thing I love about these necklaces is that they make an excellent gift. If you are a husband who is having a hard time mourning on the same level, this is a wonderful way to show your wife that you can appreciate her connection to her baby. Really, any friend or family member who wants to do something but isn't sure what to do or say, these would certainly mean the world to a mourning mother.

And finally, please check out Little Angels Online Store for tons of other ideas from garden stones and plaques, to candles and key chains.

I am sorry that anyone has to be here, but my sincere hope is that you can find a way to help you cope with the pain of losing your baby. I believe that having a memento, a symbol of your child living in your heart, is a good way to find peace. But, I truly believe that the best way to heal from a loss is to strengthen your relationship with God. This keepsake is free, perfect, and will bring you closer to the opportunity to spend an eternity with your angel in Heaven. You may miss them for a lifetime but you can hold them for eternity.





Thursday, June 23, 2011

Your Kid Said What? 6-23-11

Last week, Gavin was playing in the closet while Doug got ready for work. He came across a toy that was still in the box that we had packed away. (I almost decided against sharing this story because the toy was a gift and since we already had one, we had it stashed away in order to "regift"... LOL sorry Kattie!) Anyway... Gavin found this box with a brand new toy hammer inside. He begged and begged and asked and asked for us to open the box. I made him wait until after we finished breakfast. The whole time he ate, he stared at the box. He made a few comments about the toy hammer and all the ways he was going to use it.

After breakfast, I followed through with my promise and handed him the toy hammer after prying it out of all of the stupid packaging. He turned the button to 'ON' and started banging away. The annoying and animated banging sounds came on immediately. Gavin looked at me sadly and said, "Why didn't the words come out?"







The Incomplete Womb- A Review

First, let me say that I am in no way being compensated for this review. These are my honest and authentic thoughts on this E-Book.

About a week ago I was given the opportunity to read The Incomplete Womb by Kit Byrne. This book is a open, honest, and heartfelt journey of a woman coping with several steep road bumps on her path to bearing children. As I read, I found myself nodding in agreement with her emotional descriptions of what she learned, how she coped and some of the soul crushing moments that I, too, have found myself struggling with.

My favorite chapters described several coping strategies she implemented in order to help her keep her feelings in check. She managed to recognize, by using these strategies, what was truly important, how to change what she could, and forgive herself for what she couldn't. These strategies were simple, easy to implement, and refreshingly normal.

This book also serves as a guide book to women who are just finding themselves navigating their path with unexplained infertility, endometriosis, and other issues that most women never dreamed they would have to say aloud, let alone have a functional understanding of. She does an excellent job of explaining many of the terms and procedures that one may encounter on their own journey. I feel compelled to say that if you have been on this journey for a long time, as I have, a lot of the information is an introductory course.

I would absolutely recommend this book to any woman who has been recently diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Also, if you have had a miscarriage or two and aren't sure where you fit in the world of fertility specialists and doctors, this book may also be very helpful in helping you feel like you aren't alone.

I wish no one had a story like this to tell, but I thank Kit for being willing to share so that other women can learn form her. I am so sorry, Kit, for your countless losses, and many struggles, but love that you are turning your misfortune into a way to help others. Congratulations on your happy ending!




Tuesday, June 21, 2011

10 Signs That You Have Been Trying to Conceive for Too Long

10. You wonder why anyone would ever spell out Trying to Conceive when they could just write TTC. Everyone know what TTC means, right?

9. You spend your free time researching the impact of sexual position on achieving pregnancy.

8. When you see a license plate you can't help but see acronyms and wonder if the driver knows what their plate really means. 7. Blame it on a bum wheel, but your cart always ends up in the pregnancy test isle in any supermarket or drugstore. Then, in the blink of an eye, a box of tests appears in your cart. At least 50% of the time it is a box of blue dye tests. Despite knowing their false positive issues, your choose them just so that even if you aren't pregnant, you might have something to squint at.


6. Your thermometer has a name.

5. You have a cup in your bathroom that is never used for drinking. It is specifically used for peeing in. (Please be sure to hide this well or mark it clearly. It would be incredibly awkward to see your mother in law drinking from your pee cup.)

4. You can, at any time of night or day, picture your chart details. When you get your morning temperature reading, you sometimes re-check just because a different number would make your chart look nicer. Who doesn't like a pretty chart?

3. You have considered, or have actually had a psychic predict when you will get pregnant.2. You have a habit of poking your breasts for at least one week of every month. It becomes a lot like nose-picking. You don't do it in a work meeting but poking yourself in the boob while cruising down the freeway is perfectly acceptable.

1. You have become internet friends with other women who are TTC and have come to know them so well that you celebrate when they celebrate, cry when they cry, and want them to have a baby almost as much as you want one yourself. April A.- This hug is for you.









Sunday, June 19, 2011

This Bag Lady Needs a Facial

Let me start this post by saying that I have enough drama going on in my own life to get too wrapped up someone else's identity issues but I have to share a bit of background so that this post can make sense. A night or two ago while playing around on Twitter, a website that I follow posed a request to its followers. They said that someone mentioned that their website looked as if it was selling something and asked for opinions on what they appeared to be selling. Since I had a minute, I stopped by their site and offered my 20 second critique. I said that her site was a little flashy with ads and such and that it may contribute to giving a "buy me vibe". So without getting into all of the gory details, the person behind the website then went and asked on a forum of other site administrators if she should "trust my opinion given the state of my site." She then went on to compare me to a bag lady giving fashion advice.

At first, my feeling were a little hurt. Then I was angry. But, after talking with Doug and he helped me put it into perspective, I responded to her with this:
I am confused. You asked for opinions and then you turn around and critique my site. My poor site design has nothing to do with why or why not you site might appear to be selling something. I am just a new mommy blogger who is simply getting things off the ground. But, my lack of experience and traffic has little to do with what I see when I look at your page. If you were only interested in the opinions of people with more experience and knowledge of web design, it looks like this forum has a lot of fantastic members with lots of great input.
I could go on for hours describing all of the immature and tasteless comments she made (that she later erased by editing her posts) but that is neither here nor there. As always, Doug reminded me that I have to start somewhere. Everyone does.

As my readers know, I have tried to make a habit of finding the good in even the worst of situations so this is my idea. I am formally inviting anyone who has any interest in designing my website to show me what they've got. You don't have to be a professional. This is open to anyone who wants to design what they think looks best for Life, Loss, and Other Things.

What you get:
  • Each entry will be posted with your name, website, and links.
  • You can share any info you wish to about your design, your inspiration, etc.
  • Your information will also be placed on a wonderful page with the other entrants for one year after the new design is chosen and launched.
  • Should your design be selected, you will also get a FREE button on my homepage. The size can be 250x250 but since you will be designing the page, the exact dimensions can be tweaked to whatever is appropriate for the site. Who doesn't like free advertising?
  • For as long as I am using your design, your link will also be in the footer with "This site designed by____."
I think it is only appropriate to have my website visitors choose the design since the opinions of my readers matter to me. Not only am I asking for your thoughts, I plan on following your lead. The winner will be decided by the number of facebook likes the design post gets. It is my readers who I want to make feel comfortable here. I like the connections I have made thus far and look forward to making Life, Loss, and Other Things a place you are proud to associate with. I am thankful that you have befriended this "Bag Lady," helped me push my grocery cart full of odds and ends, and am excited to let you help me wipe 6 months of dirt off my blog face.

A couple housekeeping things:
  • All graphics or images must be created or owned by you.
  • You have permission to use any images that are currently on my blog, only for the purpose of designing my site.
  • You may submit up to 3 different designs if you choose to.
  • The winning design, once launched, will become the property of Life, Loss, and Other Things.
  • If you intend on making a page design, please email me or comment below indicating your intent to participate.
  • Email your designs to me- Maria@LifeLossAndOtherThings.com






Saturday, June 18, 2011

Featured Blogs-Week Eight

Each weekend I am picking 3 blogs to feature on my homepage for the week. Should they feel called to do so, they may put my button on their homepage for the week as well. This is certainly not a requirement-just a great way to network. Be sure to check them out!




Bun(less) in the Oven




Just a reminder to all of my blogging friends... If you haven't been featured yet be sure to send me an e-mail with code for a button! I would love to feature you in the coming weeks!




Friday, June 17, 2011

Family Traditions- Father's Day

When I was growing up, my favorite and most memorable memories of my childhood were of things that we did every year. The "traditions" in my house weren't formal traditions but just things that happened on a routine basis and I would always look forward to them. One of my favorites was going berry picking in the summer and bringing back bowls and bowls of blackberries for my grandmother to bake into pies, tarts, and sometimes jelly. Another favorite was going to baseball games with my dad. I was the tomboy and much more into sports than my older brother. So, every spring, my dad would get season tickets to the AA league baseball games and we would go to as many games as we could all summer long. I can still remember the smells and the view of the field from our seats.

I decided that this year for Father's Day, I am going to start a tradition. Instead of me buying a gift for Doug and saying it is from the kids, I want there to be a meaningful exchange taking place. Today, I helped Gavin write a list of things he loves about his daddy. At first I asked Gavin what he loved most about his daddy or things that his daddy does that makes him smile. He didn't really understand since the first thing Gavin said was, "He puts letters on the refrigerator." as he played with his magnetic letters. I helped Gavin understand what kinds of things he might want to have me write on the list and he was off and running! He came up with all of the items on the list! After finishing the list, I wrote the year on the corner and the title at the top. Then it was placed into a glass jar with a lid. I also put empty white envelopes into the jar.

After Doug gets to read his list of things that Gavin loves most about him, Doug will then write a letter to Gavin. The letter may include a couple of Doug's favorite things that they do together, what he loves most about him, and what he remembers most about fatherhood this year. Both the letter and Gavin's list will go into the envelope labeled with the year, and then into the jar. My hope is that this is a tradition we will continue every year for Father's Day. Next year when Joey is able to help write his list we will get him a similar container for his letters too. One day, when the boys grow up and become fathers themselves, we will gift the jars to them for their first father's day.

It is my hope that they will so much enjoy reading their lists and letters from their Daddy, that they will want to continue the tradition with their children too. If we ever have a baby girl I would like to do the same with her but then the jar would go to her husband on his first Father's Day.

Ties, barbecue tools, electronics, and other manly gifts are neat but I think that this tradition is really more about celebrating the gift of fatherhood. I am really excited to share this gift with Doug and I hope that he is excited about it as I am! I love traditions!







Thursday, June 16, 2011

Your Kid Said What? 6-16-11

Since Gavin was about 2 he has been obsessed with tools. All kind, shapes, and varieties. This has entitled us to a number of quotable moments.

Gavin loves to watch us build things, be it bunk beds, bookshelves, or installing batteries. He will pull up a seat and eagerly wait for us to ask for favors like holding a screw or or instructions. On this occassion, I was simply putting in a few new AA batteries in a toy of his, but had to unscrew and replace the plastic panel to do so. Gavin sits down in my lap and says, "Mom, I am just going to sit here and watch you screw this up." Ahhh... How quickly they learn!

The second was just this morning. Gavin was playing with his tool set and was pretending to fix a chair. He decided that he needed to use a couple of screws to take care of the problem. He held up two screws, one in each hand, and asked me, "Which one should I use, Mom? Cinco or Cilantro?" I assumed they were names from Handy Manny or something that I just hadn't picked up on. I googled it and found nothing about any "Cinco or Cilantro". Can anyone help me here or did my son just come up with the very odd, obscure, and appropriately paired Latino nicknames for screws?





Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- The Porch Garden

I have always wanted a garden and while we aren't short for space, it is hard to go out to a garden that is far from the house for watering and maintenance. This year we brought the garden to the house! I am looking forward to going out the front door and harvesting my veggies and herbs! We still have some shrubs and flowers for looks but next year they will be transplanted for room for more edibles.










We do still have a standard garden but is is mostly corn this year.

I am so excited to see all of our fresh healthy food growing!





Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Barren, Broken and Yet Made Whole

A couple of weeks ago I was intrigued by a post on a message board that explained how to make your own fertility tea. As I posted yesterday, I decided to pass the time that Doug is on his medications, by growing the herbs needed to make it. I asked Earon to share, as a guest blogger, more about her journey with infertility and with the fertility tea. Enjoy this amazing post!


By Earon Harwell – Guest Blogger

Most people would say that their beginning began at their birth, but mine started after that. Aside from the Creator of the universe knowing us before we were conceived, my beginning started with my salvation. I was saved in the summer of 2000. I was searching for more and God saw to it that I found Him. I could see my life playing out with all the necessary difficulties that make us grow but the blessing of having God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with me through it all. Visions of family and babies filled my mind, but what was more important to me at that point was Christ alone.

My relationship with God grew and He nurtured it to fruition as I met my would-be husband only a few short months later in the summer of 2001. Now those visions of family and babies soared to the forefront of my mind as our relationship grew and moved toward marriage in April of 2002. My husband, being a quiet man, didn’t seem too thrilled about having kids right off the bat so we waited a whole six months…. A long time I know. Three point five years later we were still in the same boat. Childless. I had gone through the extreme highs and lows of trying to conceive; something that every woman that has difficulty conceiving knows all too well. I finally decided that it was time to visit an OB/GYN.

So, there I was, 22 ½ yrs old and making a trip to the gyno with a hope of a thumbs up from her. She took a blood sample from me and ordered a semen analysis for my husband. A few days before Christmas I got a call from the office telling me that my progesterone was so low that I was more than likely not ovulating at all, even though my cycles were steady and constant. Another couple of days passed and we heard back from my doctor again about my husbands’ semen analysis. That was the day, December 23rd, 2005, that my world was shattered. My husband was sterile, 100% sterile. We since found that it was likely due to a combination of sickness and an accident he had as a child.

Even after this discovery I hoped and prayed that it wasn’t true and that I would magically end up pregnant. However, a few days after that dreadful day, my husband announced to me that he was relieved that he couldn’t have kids cause he never really wanted them to begin with. He was of course sorry for my hurt, but glad that he couldn’t get me pregnant. I was crushed, broken hearted, and felt completely lost. He tried to explain, but all the explanation in the world didn’t matter at that point. This was the first time in my walk with Christ that I had a crisis of belief. I knew that God is All Mighty, yet He chose to not heal us, therefore, allowing this chain of events to happen. Why would He do that? I didn’t understand. My faith was coming into question.

My question wasn’t answered for months on end. God allowed me to suffer in this for a bigger purpose, and today I can honestly say that I’m grateful for it. About a year later, we had decided to begin the process of foster care and adoption through the state. In filling out the paperwork, my husband kept getting really frustrated with some of the personal questions that were being asked as they were directed at his infertility. This was another beginning; I was beginning to understand what was really in my husband’s heart about our infertility. God was using this time to shape my husband and help him to realize his potential as a parent and the desire of his heart to become a father. Regardless of that, and due to financial difficulty at the time, we chose to wait to do foster care and ended up moving to another county. Within the next 2 years I began to notice how great he was with the kids that were around us. He loved playing with them and making them laugh. Plus, I saw his countenance lift every time he hung out with kids. Once established after the move we picked up the foster care endeavor again.

By this time, I had finished writing my first book, The Prayer Of A Parent, and was in the process of publishing it. The Prayer of a Parent is a book that God put on my heart in order to help people learn to pray God’s word over their kiddos lives, because of the fact that I had been praying for my future children for 4-5 years at that point. That’s about when we got our first foster child, and over the course of that year we took in 6 more foster kids, one of which we adopted. I’m a little sad to say that I didn’t end up getting pregnant, but I know that my life isn’t over yet, and by God’s grace we may yet have another child somehow. Presently, we are living happily with our daughter who is now 2 years older than when we first gave her a home. She was our second foster child and we love our girl, but want another child to give our daughter a playmate.

All of that being said we have found a well regulated company that will deliver donor sperm to our home without the assistance of a physician. Which makes it much more affordable for us to try for an actual pregnancy. Therefore I’ve been researching ways to help stimulate ovulation without the use of prescribed drugs. That’s when I came across a recipe for Fertility Tea, and about the same time I met Maria, the author of this blog. This is what I found and the post that got Maria’s attention:

I went to my local Natural Abundance health food store and got ingredients to make my own Fertility tea.

In the tea I have:
• German Chamomile 0.75oz
• Nettle Leaf 0.75oz
• Red Raspberry Leaf 0.75oz
• Peppermint Leaf 0.75oz
• Red Clover Leaf 0.75oz
• Green Tea 0.75oz
• Chaste Berry (vitex) 0.75oz

To Use:
I have a loose tea ball, which is what you'll need. Either that or whatever you can use such as a coffee filter, cheese cloth or whatever. Use 1 teaspoon per cup of water (standard coffee/tea cup is about 1.5 cups-ish) and steap in boiling water for a couple minutes or so. Add sweetener, creamer or juice to taste. Drink 3 times a day until pregnancy achieved. Viola!

Mixing and storing:
I mixed them all together in a big bowl and put them in my loose tea container which seals for freshness. The stuff that didn't fit I put into a ziplock and got as much air out as I could for continued freshness. I also got Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) as suggested by crossgirl_15, but I got it in capsule form which I will take with the tea in the morning, afternoon and evening. A person can get licorice root for the tea but you don't want to take it over an extended period of time so I chose to get is separately. You can use licorice root just like clomid, but you need 3500-8000mg a day? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on those numbers. My pills are 450 mg each so I will take two or three with each meal. I will take it on cd 5-9 just like you would with clomid. Licorice root can raise your bp so you need to be careful if you have heart problems or high bp.
If you don't use licorice root and need something to help with luteal phase and LH for follicular maturation then you will need to add Chasteberry to the tea just use 0.75 oz and mix with the other leafs. Here is a great link to help you understand what each herb does for your cycle.

This is what I resorted to. My OB/GYN called and canceled the appointment I had made to discuss fertility with him so I think this was just God's answer to what I was asking, and seeking for.

I fully believe that God made the herbs for us to use and I think sometimes we forget about them. Now it’s VERY important that you consult your herbalist or naturopathic doctor before throwing herbs together. I grew up with the use of herbs and have a really good handle on what I can use and how to adjust if it’s not working, but not everyone does. The tea costs somewhere around $6 as opposed to $14 at a retail store. Plus it will last a couple of cycles. I should also mention that using it three times a day has caused a little bit of constipation, so I started using it once a day and drinking a bit more water than usual.

I have to say that the part of the title, “Made Whole” has not yet been completed, but I know that one day it will when God receives me into glory. God has granted me peace with the fact that we cannot conceive the natural way. God had used that time of barrenness in my life to help my husband overcome his fears of parenting and to help him realize that he truly did want to have children. For me God has begun and continued to teach me patience and contentment. I had and have the blessing of watching my hubby blossom before my eyes. I have the privilege of seeing his character grow and shape into a godly man and father; this is something that I would never trade with the opportunity to conceive and give birth normally.





Monday, June 13, 2011

Could Be Worse

Doug and I went today to get the results from his biopsy. From spending way too much time with Dr. Google we knew that the results could range from him needing a liver transplant due to sever liver damage to needing medical management and monitoring. Thank God that we were on the positive side of the spectrum. Doug will need to continue meds (also the ones responsible for diminishing our likelihood of pregnancy) for at least 6-8 months but then it will just be monitoring and maintenance. His liver is significantly inflamed and has scar tissue as a result. We were told that on the scale of liver health, 4 meaning cirrhosis, Doug is at a 2-3. So, he is doing well and the best news is that he is feeling better and better everyday. The less than fantastic part is that this is a disease that he will have for the rest of his life. He will most likely live a long life but at some point, his liver will eventually lose the fight. We just hope that his liver loses when he is 90+ years old. We appreciate the prayers!

Since pregnancy is probably unlikely until the meds have been discontinued, I have decided that I am going to try something new. So much of the last 5 years of my life have been about fertility, pregnancy, and trying to conceive and I kinda feel like I am on the verge of a breakup with charting. If me and charting were dating, this is the part when I feel like I could go through the motions and we could co-exist but I know that it isn't really a healthy relationship. Nothing is going to come of it so, why not just make a clean break. So I am breaking up with my thermometer for the next 6 months. But, since fertility is really fascinating, herbs are amazing, and I have just found a new love for gardening, I am going to try to grow all of the herbs needed to make a homemade fertility tea! I recognize that I could go to a store, buy all of the herbs in bulk, and make my own tea, but where is the fun in that?

So, I am off to read up on all of the ingredients and order seeds or plants and get this adventure going!

I will hopefully be growing plants for the following ingredients:
  • German Chamomile
  • Nettle Leaf
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Red Clover Leaf (actually already have this growing everywhere!)
  • Green Tea
  • Chaste Berry

I welcome any advice or experience!!





Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Crappy Clubs

See the bottom of post to learn how to get your own "Club Card" for your message board signature, blog, or website.

I can vividly remember my first months of trying to conceive baby #2. I was hanging out in one of my favorite online communities and actually, for the first time ever, started posting questions and comments. I spent my time in the Trying to Conceive forums looking for new pregnancy test pictures to be posted for squinting (a hobby that I was just discovering at the time), answering simple charting questions, and comparing possible early pregnancy symptoms with other hopeful mothers-to-be. With a large community, there was always the mention of a miscarriage here and there. I always felt sad for the moms that dealt with losses, but I sort of figured miscarriages were like meningitis. I have heard of people having it but I would never get it.

After our second cycle of trying, I found myself jumping for joy with my positive pregnancy test in hand. A couple of weeks later the spotting started. I scrolled a little further down the page on the message boards and started reading the words, although distorted by the tears welled up in my eyes, Pregnancy and Infant Loss. I read post after post looking for stories of hope, and line after heartbreaking line about others experiences with miscarriages. While collecting this information, I couldn't help but notice the signatures, the few lines that follow a post that often includes a brief history, of the other ladies on the message boards. I was shocked to see how many of them had more than one miscarriage. Some signatures seemed to just have little angel emoticons floating all over the place. I knew that I was officially a member of the Miscarriage Club but I couldn't fathom ever joining those ladies. I mean, they had to have some sort of "issue". A disease that had been undiagnosed. A serious problem. I managed to survive my loss, club card in hand, and scroll back up to the top of the page where the regular Trying to Conceive conversations happened.

Then a couple of months later, when another positive pregnancy test was staring back at me, I was excited. I was nervous since I had learned that pregnancy doesn't always end with a baby in my arms, but I was so sure that it couldn't happen to me twice. And if it did, it certainly wouldn't happen to me twice in a row. Well, it did. I was now in the limbo area. I started spending more time in the pregnancy loss area on the boards and getting to know the user names of the other ladies who were in the same club as me.

Then, when my third pregnancy ended almost as soon as it started, I did it. I moved further down the list of "clubs" on the message boards. I was now an official member of the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss club. It was a lot of the same people that I had come to know in the pregnancy loss area but now I was seeing ladies commiserating about loss number 3 or more. I never thought I would be a member of this board. I thought I would forever be a lurker who would read stories of multiple losses, feel bad, close the window and go on with my life. Not anymore. I was the one posting questions, looking for hope, and crying my eyes out when loss number 3, 4, 5 and 6 took place. It was the worst place with some of the best people I have ever met.

During these years of losses, I would read and learn all about those women struggling with infertility since many times the recurrent losses and infertility worlds overlap in so many ways. But, in all honesty, I was just being nosy. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of someone who had a hard time conceiving but since fertility was never an issue for me, I would never post. No one struggling with infertility wants to hear from a lady who gets pregnant every other cycle. I would think in the not so quiet head of mine, "I am so glad I don't have to deal with that." And, "That would suck!" Never in my wildest imagination could I have believed that I would be a member of the infertility club.

Then, the unimaginable happened. Here I am trying to get pregnant after 8 perfectly timed cycles, approaching my 35th birthday (the magical age of "Advanced Maternal Age"), and not so much as a squinter to squint at. I had already found myself scrolling down to the Infertility message boards but couldn't imagine really being a part of the club. After learning of the effects of Doug's medications, I have been more tempted to make introductions to these ladies that I have come to know by user name and fertility history. But, then, I get scared. Doing that would make it official. I never imagined that I would be a member of the Infertility Club.

As much as I wished that none of these clubs existed, they do. So, why not make it a little less isolating. Let's make these "clubs" that we wished we never belonged to, a little more festive. I have decided to make club cards that can be used on your blogs, websites, or message board signatures. This is meant to be an easy way to recognize each other, get to know each other, support each other, and see that these clubs suck but have some really awesome members! To get your free club card(s), go to the club card page and get the code for these cards and several others!




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